Sins of a Solar Empire

Good
  • Impressive battles set within a realistic universe of planets and anomalies
  • Depth of strategy mechanics across three familiar playstyles of war, economy and diplomacy
Bad
  • Lack of campaign content requires players to develop their own challenges and learning curve
7

Sins of a Solar Empire is a sci-fi strategy game with 4X elements that will have you conquering a large universe with military force, economic power or diplomatic negotiations. With elements of real time strategy also present the game seeks to combine the two well known strategy niches of RTS and 4X gameplay into a single challenge.

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Sins of a Solar Empire is set in the distant future and has you at the head of a space exploring race that are looking to expand their empire deeper into the stars through whichever means proves to be the most fruitful. Players can use one of three races vying for expansion which each have their own backgrounds and special abilities that impacts on the paths they may take in expanding outward. The races include the industrial focused TEC, the alien Vasari or the Advent who possess various psychic powers which gives each a distinctive design.

Lacking a campaign mode the core gameplay revolves around a skirmish type mode where players set the parameters and battle for control over the galaxy as you create your own galactic story. Each of these universes that you create are huge endeavours and completely 3D experiences. As you explore each star system you’ll find planets, asteroids, various stars, anomalies and of course enemies that each present different challenged and strategic decisions.

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For example some planets will be better at supporting life while others may offer utility bonuses such as increased resource production that need to be weighed up as you expand with each space jump. This diversity also ensures that the game world feels like a real space adventure as you battle over the gas giants, icy planets and lava flowing pits of different celestial bodies. This is expanded even further through the space anomalies in Sins of a Solar Empire are what really bring the space themed game world to life though with asteroid fields, gas clouds and even space junk scattered between planets.

While you’ll be claiming these planets in the name of your faction the resources to do this are central to any Sins of a Solar Empire strategy. With three different resources (credits, metal and crystal) that are used to perform various tasks within the game world you’ll balance your generation and spending of each to achieve your goals. Credits are rewarded for missions, bounties and taxing planets that fall under your control with metal and crystal both mined from asteroids and is pivotal for ship building and research.

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Regardless of how you plan to dominate the galaxy you’ll these ships are another key strategy pillar and Sins of a Solar Empire has plenty of depth in this department with five main category of ships with plenty of customisation with each class to design something for your broader strategy. These options include capital ships, strike craft, cruisers, frigates and civilian ships that range from large powerful hearts of a fleet to smaller agile options that are launched during an attack.

Underpinning these ships and your planetary settlements is the technology tree which is distinctly split between military and civilian enhancements that allow you to optimise your ships armour, shields and weapons or push for resource gathering enhancements instead. For the truly dedicated player they can also seek out 9 special artifacts hidden amongst colonised planets that may provide an alien power you simple can’t obtain through other means.

Summary:

  • A sci-fi 4X strategy game with real time strategy elements for a blended strategic challenge across the galaxy.
  • Three different races to explore the universe with that have their own specialties that influences their playstyle across military, economic and diplomatic means.
  • Huge galaxies to experience with skirmish game structure that lets players define the setting.
  • Lots of additional strategic depth added through research, exploration and ship fleets.
  • Available only on Windows with a range of expansion packs available that add new or enhanced mechanics.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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